United Action for Youth
In 1970, UAY opened the door to opportunities for all teenagers and parents in Johnson County, Iowa, and surrounding counties. Today the organization offers an array of stimulating programs to over 3,200 people annually, serving young people and parents.
At a time when youth look to their friends to define themselves, UAY is a safe place where young people from all walks of life can be thoughtful, silly, outrageous, or sad. They can try new things, make friends, explore their talents, share their skills, and start defining the adult that each will become. They partner with caring adults, who encourage, teach, and give honest feedback.
UAY operates a Youth Center in downtown Iowa City that is open Monday through Saturday. The Youth Center includes a recording studio, art studio, art gallery, performance space and offices for street outreach and counseling. It also includes the Rotary Center for Youth Volunteers, a job training center, and peer helping services. The counseling program assists runaway youth, victims of crime and abuse and youth experiencing other difficulty and is provided at no charge to clients. UAY operates a program for pregnant and parenting teens that includes counseling and health services as well as a transitional living program. In partnership with the schools, UAY provides mental health case managers to students in each of the Iowa City junior and senior high schools and runs a school-based Academic Mentoring Program.
UAY also assists parents at a challenging time in their child’s development. Our promise to parents is that UAY will offer stimulating activities in an alcohol, drug, and tobacco-free environment. Much more information is found on the organization’s website:
The organization is led by an 11-member board of directors comprised of local professionals, including former program participants. It is a caring and thoughtful leadership body; a recently completed 3-year visioning process guides its work. UAY employs 44 staff and supports many interns and volunteers. It operates on an annual budget of $1.7 million. The diverse income sources are federal and state grants/contracts, fee for service, individual giving, and two fundraising events.